Hong Kong swelters in hottest temperature of the year – for the second time
Observatory says scorching weather with poor air quality expected to continue on Tuesday
Hong Kong recorded its highest temperature of the year for the second time on Monday, with the mercury soaring to 37.7 degrees Celsius in some areas, matching last month’s maximum as the city braced itself for more scorching weather.
Hong Kong Observatory scientific officer Lee Yiu-fai said the city was likely to experience similarly hot conditions on Tuesday, with showers later in the day.
Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Hato – which is currently about 1,000km east-southeast of the city – is approaching Guangdong province, and is expected to come within 200km of the city on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain.
It is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it reaches mainland China on Wednesday, but Lee cautioned that it was difficult to determine the storm’s path and strength.
“There’s quite a lot of uncertainty about its strength,” he said. “The forecast may change.”
The approaching storm was also to blame for pollution levels that were higher than normal in many areas of the city, the Environmental Protection Department said in a statement.
Air quality in some areas was given a “serious” rating – the highest possible level – while other parts of the city recorded air conditions that were classified as posing a “very high risk to health”.
The poor air quality in the city is expected to continue until Hato reaches the south China coast.
On Monday, Kowloon registered a temperature of 34.1 degrees but in Ta Kwu Ling in the New Territories, a high of 37.7 degrees was recorded. Shek Kong in the New Territories posted a similarly high temperature of 37.5 degrees.
The Observatory issued a very hot weather warning, reminding the public that the risk of heat stroke was high.
This year’s first temperature high of 37.7 degrees was recorded last month in Chek Lap Kok, while several other districts passed the 37-degree mark.
The hottest day in Hong Kong’s history was on August 8, 2015, when Happy Valley saw a maximum temperature of 37.9 degrees.